With so many add-ons to choose from, how do you know which ones to install? Well, you're pretty Internet savvy by now. So you may be able to make your own decision after reading the add-on descriptions at the Microsoft site. If you prefer our two cents, then here are our add-on winners for the classroom.

Real Player by Progressive Networks

Do you want to watch a news broadcast from Taiwan? Or listen to a radio program originating from Anchorage, Alaska? With a RealPlayer add-on you can see and hear these broadcasts via the Web.

RealPlayer is one of the most popular add-ons because it allows certain sound and video files to load quickly. It does this by dividing a video, or audio, file into small packets and delivering the packets in a "stream". This technology allows you to watch a video clip even before the clip has completely downloaded to your computer.

Shockwave Flash by Macromedia

Kids, of all ages (us included!), adore bouncing cartoon characters. With Shockwave Flash your students can enjoy animation files that are small to download, yet are a riot to watch. Are we suggesting that you let your students watch cartoons at school? Well, only if you're in a real good mood, and they've been absolute angels for the entire day.

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